RO seawater desalination plant will be in Badr Governorate in Madinah region
Saudi Arabia has signed project agreements for Yanbu 4 Independent Water Plant (IWP), a seawater desalination facility to be developed using reverse osmosis (RO) technology, with a consortium comprising of Engie, the French multinational utility group, and a local water desalination company, Mowah.
According to a statement from Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), the RO seawater desalination plant will come up in the Badr Governorate, in the Madinah region. It will have a production capacity of 450,000 cu m/day, once complete.
Located on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, the new plant will feed potable water to the Makkah and Madinah regions. Yanbu-4 IWP will also include solar energy units that will reduce the electricity consumption from the grid.
Furthermore, water tanks with a storage capacity for two operational days will also be installed, the statement added.
The Yanbu 4 IWP project agreements were signed by Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and SWPC Board Chairman Engineer Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen AlFadley.
Saudi Water Partnership Company CEO Engineer Khalid Bin Zwaid Al Qureshi said the project will launch its commercial operation in the first quarter of 2023.
A total of 71 developer consortiums had expressed interest in the Yanbu-4 IWP in September last year including global giants such as SNC Lavalin; Suez International, Veolia, Tecnicas Reunidas besides Sumitomio and JGC Corporation (Japan); Bechtel (US) and Doosan Heavy Industries besides UAE groups Mubadala, Masdar and Utico, it stated.
Of these around 30 were Saudi developers led by regional heavyweights Saudi Binladin Group; Abdul Ali Al Ajmi Company; Abdullatif Jameel Commercial Development Company; Alfanar Company and GS Inima Environment; Gulf Investment Corporation and Marafiq.
The Engie-Mowah consortium had emerged the preferred bidder after submitting the lowest levelised water costs of SR1.7446 per cu m compared to FCC Aqualia-HAACO-Alfanar consortium’s cost of SR1.7775 per cu m, Acwa Power-Albabtain-GIC consortium’s SR1.8435 and Marubeni Corporation-Marafiq consortium’s SR1.9168.
According SWPC, this an extension of the signing of previous projects with the active participation of the private sector in developing this vital water sector and boosting its contribution to country development.
Today’s agreements are part of the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture intends to present to investors, and the supervisory committee to allocate the environment, water, and agriculture sector during the past months in line with the goals of “Vision 2030”.